PA pot arrests drop in 2015, Philly leads in statewide decline

PA pot arrests drop in 2015, Philly leads in statewide decline
Metro File Photo

Marijuana arrests dipped across the state of Pennsylvania by 15 percent last year, likely a result of Philly’s change in pot policy.

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“The decriminalization policy in Philadelphia is likely a big reason for the statewide decline,”Philly.comsaid in report.“Pot arrests by Philadelphia police went from 4,374 in 2013 to 784 in 2015. That’s an 82 percent decrease.”

Philly reportedly used to lead the state in criminal arrests for possession of marijuana, but when the city adopted a new policy in 2014, all of that changed.

“Then the city adopted a policy of issuing $25 civil citations for simple possession in October 2014. The law was championed by Mayor Jim Kenney when he was an at-large member of City Council,” reported.

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With this shift in policy other parts of the state are leading in the arrests for pot possession.

According to, York, Dauphin, Chester, Delaware, Bucks and Montgomery counties all saw more arrests than Philadelphia last year —between 800 and 1,400 arrests for small amounts of pot.

A recent report also found that a marijuana arrest costs a suspect $1,266, and taking the case to court costs an extra $1, estimated that Pennsylvania spent around $39.5 million on arresting people and carrying out charges of marijuana possession.

Matt Lee is a Web producer for Metro New York. He writes about almost everything and anything. Talk to him (or yell at him) on Twitter so he doesn’t feel lonely@mattlee2669.